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Sweet and Bitter Island: A History of the British in Cyprus

Sweet and Bitter Island: A History of the British in Cyprus
Tabitha Morgan

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  • Hardback | In Stock | $58.00

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On a sweltering day in July, 1878 the men of the 42nd Royal Highlanders - the Black Watch - waded ashore at Larnaca Bay to begin the British occupation of Cyprus. Today, Britons on sunbeds colonise the same stretch of sand, the latest visitors to an island which has long held a special place in the English imagination - and a controversial role in British imperial ambitions. Drawing on largely unpublished material, Tabitha Morgan reflects on why successive administrations failed, so catastrophically, to engage with their Cypriot subjects, and how social segregation, confusion about Cypriot identity and the poor calibre of so many administrators all contributed to the bloody conflict that led, finally, to Cypriot independence in 1960. "Sweet and Bitter Island" explores for the first time the unique bond between Britain and Cyprus and the complex, sometimes tense, relationship between the two nations which endures to the present day. Extensively researched and lyrically written, this is the definitive portrait of British colonial life on the Mediterranean island.

Author Info

Tabitha Morgan read English at Cambridge and has spent the last decade reporting on Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean for the BBC. Before moving to Cyprus she worked as a BBC radio producer, making features and historical documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service. She is married to the writer and journalist Gerald Butt.


A really wonderful book. Sweet and Bitter Island presents a fair and balanced account of Britain's tangled relationship with Cyprus
of special interest to those, like myself, who had a walk-on part near the end of the story as soldiers on active service.
Martin Bell

I found Tabitha Morgan's Sweet and Bitter Island a delight. It's that happy combination: a book about a fascinating subject that is authoritative and yet intensely lively and interesting at the same time. I loved it, and felt much better informed as a result.
John Simpson

This is the Cyprus I remember as a boy in Nicosia a history that seemed almost to be lost, except in memory. Tabitha Morgan has brought it back to life.
Matthew Parris

Highly authoritative and yet intensely lively, interesting and often humorous, this most readable book is a valuable contribution to our understanding of that particular period that will benefit amateurs and academics alike.
Ashley Perks, Londra Gazette

A delightful, extensively researched, even-handed and affectionate history of the British colonial experience in Cyprus.
Colin Smith, Literary Review

This is an extensively researched and extremely well written study...this is an authoritative portrait of British colonial life on the Mediterranean island. I thoroughly recommend this to teachers who want to understand the modern conundrum of a divided island.
The Historical Association

Engaging and well written...the book fills an important gap in our understanding of the period of British rule.
Michael Paraskos, The Epoch Times

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781848853294
Publication Date: 29 Jun 2010
Number of Pages: 320
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: 16 integrated, 2 maps

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